In fact, if Mitt Romney had managed to swing the margin by 5 points in his direction in each and every state, he still would have lost (272 electoral votes to 266).
Nor was this because President Obama turned out massive numbers of voters to pull the level for him. Per capita, Obama actually got 9 percent fewer votes than in 2008 — a rather precipitous decline. If Romney had simply improved upon John McCain’s performance by that same amount — if he had gotten 9 percent more votes per capita than McCain did — he’d now be preparing to move into the White House. Instead, Romney got 2 percent fewer votes per capita than McCain, a result so bad that it would have seemed almost unfathomable before Election Day.